Friday, 3 October 2008

An Online Job Search – What to look for in a ‘Good’ green job

Today Katharine Robinson will be looking at the online job boards and how to use them effectively to get to the next step in your green career.


I manage EcoSearch’s ‘digital footprint’. Simply put, I make sure we are there to be found on the web. Not only does that mean I manage this blog, but I also look after where we advertise the job opportunities we are working on.

The news for those seeking a new green job is good and I’m going to tell you why.

Setting the scene

The talent pool in the sector is so limited in the UK, EcoSearch’s home territory, that the number of applications to these job advertisements is small. Not only that, but a surprising number of those applying have irrelevant experience – I had a candidate not long ago apply to a job as a wind farm project developer, his only work experience to date was of trapping hedgehogs.

If you are looking for an EcoJob, you will find a plethora of opportunities out there for you – you won’t have to put more than a couple of key words into a search engine before you find somewhere you want to send your CV.

Be Picky – You can afford to have a good job hunting experience

Here are a few things to look for in a ‘good’ green job advertisement so that you get off to the best possible start;

· A name - of a real person that is working on that opportunity (try finding that person on the web, do they have a LinkedIn profile – are they credible?).
· An email address direct to that person – for you to send your CV to.
· A phone number - so you can call and speak to that person.
· Some information about the sort of company or team the job is with – this may be brief but it should be there.

If you can’t see those things, it’s not worth sending your CV. Your experiences and hard work will go off to populate a recruiter’s database so they can call you if their key-word search throws up your details. A lot of job advertisements try to keep the identity of the company that is hiring a bit of a secret until they know you are serious about the opportunity (so don’t worry if you don’t the company’s name) – but be wary if no information at all is offered. In the end, this is likely to be THE deciding factor as to whether or not you want the job.

To upload or not to upload?

In your green job hunt, you might stop by a number of websites that allow you to upload your CV to their database. This means that jobs can come and find you, taking some of the work out of your hunt.

This sounds great. Upload my CV and wait for the perfect job to come knocking on my door. This can be the case and sometimes is. I know that at EcoSearch we often search these databases for possible candidates and are often surprised by the quality and fit of some of those we find.

Unfortunately the best people often report being approached by multiple recruiters about vacancies that were not necessarily relevant. This can be frustrating if you went to the trouble of submitting a detailed CV. Especially if you are called about an opportunity that has nothing to do with the objectives you stated. It’s very easy to feel undervalued if you get called by an assortment of ‘white-socked’ recruiters looking for a quick hit.

My advice would be to cultivate an online presence that can be found – the easiest way to do this is by creating a profile on or another professional networking site. You can see mine by clicking on my name at the top of this page. This allows you to access your professional network online – a very useful tool for managing all your contact information. It also allows those seeking your skills to search and find you but not make the (often wrong) assumption that you are desperate to make a move – any move.

The next step on the ladder is out there for the taking, so go and find it!

To keep up with what EcoSearch is working on, follow me on Twitter: I tweet on EcoSearch and general Renewable Energy news as well as keeping up to date with the Web2.0 buzz.

Look out for my future posts; I’ll be looking at creating CVs and using LinkedIn to benefit your career. If you have any points to add about searching for a job online, feel free to contribute below in the comment section.

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